I thought I had more time.
Looking back, I probably took it for granted.
It’s just that … I didn’t think it would be gone so soon.
Ryan has given up his nap.
It happened fairly gradually. First he was napping every day or almost every day … then he was napping most days … then every couple of days … and now he’s going two weeks or more without a nap.
I’ve been in a bit of denial about it. I really thought he was the sort of kid who would come home from a long morning at kindergarten and take a nap. Dude has been a solid sleeper virtually since the night of his birth. We have always cherished this about him. How many times have we said, “Thank GOD he’s a good sleeper…”? Too many to count.
But this week, when I sat down and really tried to remember the last time he napped (and had no idea), it was time to accept the truth: The nap is no longer a given. It is, at best, an occasional luxury.
In lieu of the nap, my sanity requires that he have at least one hour of quiet time alone in his room every day. Frankly, his sanity requires it, too. He and I far too much alike to spend every single waking hour together without getting on each other’s nerves.
Once in a while, if he’s feeling under the weather or is worn down for some reason, he’ll fall asleep during that quiet time. Usually, however, I hear him bouncing off the walls for the full hour, opening his door approximately every 7 minutes to call down to me and ask whether quiet time is over yet. (We’re still working on the definition of “quiet.”)
I’m trying to look at the positives. Such as, when someone invites us to a party that starts at 1 p.m., we don’t have to cringe at the thought of Ryan missing his nap for it. There is a lot to be said for that.
Even so … it’s sad. It’s one of the very last things that reminds me of his babyhood. Lately, it has felt like he is growing up at warp speed. He’s very close to not needing any help getting dressed or undressed. He carries his dirty dishes to the sink. He can peel his own banana. He takes off his own shoes and puts them away right where they belong.
It seems like he needs us a little less each day. In so many ways, I love that. (Such as when I say, “You have to pee? Go ahead!“) But it’s bittersweet to see such tangible evidence of the fact that my baby really isn’t a baby anymore.
Dang, now I need a nap.